I sort of have mixed feelings about “HDR” (High-dynamic-range) photography. Usually when people talk about when they say HDR is a modern digital technique that is quite dissimilar to what was used in the 1800s when the technique was first applied in the dark room.
Traditional HDR is technically a B&W technique of using 2+ photographs to get all the areas of a photograph perfectly lit. For example: you take one photo for the mid-range light, then one over-exposed and one under-exposed to get the highlights and shadows perfectly exposed. Then you take these three images into the darkroom and used the under-exposed image for the shadows, and the over-exposed image for the highlights. This creates a composed image with a high dynamic range.
Modern HDR often means using a digital dark room to create this composite image or at least using various masks to increase the dynamic range. The problem is it almost always also means layering a ‘color constancy’ algorithm on top that modifies colors next to each other to increase the perceived color contrast as well as tweaking the color saturation. This is what gives modern HDR the ‘glowing’ look. As a side note the color constancy thing is interesting because it’s basically an optical illusion caused by how our brain perceives color.
I feel like the modern HDR craze is at best an inaccurate description. It makes for some interesting eye candy in an acid trip kind of way.